If Elvis Ate Organic…
It is widely known that the King had lustful cravings for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I can envision these beauties being served to him with a scene of hankering hip swaying and an ultimate falling to the knees. If only I had the chance to serve him this version oozing with chocolate and a sprinkling of crystalline sea salt.
I love panini for their sheer simplicity. They have a slim list of ingredients and thus it is imperative to use the BEST ingredients you can find. Even if that means flying it in from Italy, France or Zimbabwe!
Last year my panini press broke at the Lincoln Park boutique and I was devastated at the thought of my pressing being temporarily halted. So, I had to improvise. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I began using my waffle iron to press panini and I haven’t missed that old press since. You can also place the sandwich in an iron skillet and cover it with another iron skillet. You will have to flip the sandwich with this method since heat is only coming from one side. Or, use a clothing iron on the other side.
This Organic Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Banana panini is particularly special when using a specific butter that has coarse grains of grey sea salt in the butter. It is from Isigny Ste Mere and can be found at Wholefoods or other specialty markets. If you can’t find the butter, mix some coarse Maldon Sea Salt from England or Murray River Pink Flake Salt from Australia into softened unsalted butter.
I like to serve panini wrapped in parchment paper and tied with butcher twine. Or, cut them and line them up on a wooden board at parties. My favorite is the wine barrel lazy Susan from Vivaterra.
Further experimentation of savory and sweet panini is my wont so stay tuned for many more varietals to pop up soon.
Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Panini
Yields One Sandwich.
Equipment needed: Panini press or waffle iron or clothes iron and cast iron pan
2 Italian country bread slices about 4-5 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick
2 tbsp Sea salted butter, the great French brand, Isigny Ste Mere or make your own by mixing 1/2 tsp Maldon salt and 2 tbsp of a fabulous butter. One of my favorites is from Vermont Butter and Cheese Company
Pinch Maldon salt
2 squares Vosges‘ Organic Peanut Butter Bonbon Bar
½ organic banana
Spread butter on all sides of the bread. Place peanut butter bar squares on one piece of bread, followed by sliced banana and a sprinkle of salt. Place other piece of buttered bread on top and press with Panini press until golden brown.
-Make sure your bread doesn’t have many gaping holes or your fillings may seep through and burn on the iron.
- If you don’t have a Panini press substitute with a waffle iron as you see I did in the photos. Or try a cast iron skillet hold with a clothes iron on top – quite the contraption I assure you.
-Make sure the bread you use isn’t overly crusty or it may cut your mouth a bit when pressed. At the same time, don’t choose a overly soft bread, not a good sign of quality bread and it won’t have the rigidity needed. I suggest a crusty ciabatta or Italian peasant bread.
-Use Organic or home grown where possible.